Carnival Corporation has ten major brands including Aida, Costa, Cunard, Princess, Seabourn, Holland America and others. Holland’s logo is Henry Hudson’s Dutch explorer ship the Half Moon, and so the corporate island is Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas.
One can lounge on a beach, rent a private cabana, jet-ski, play with stingrays, look at fish snorkeling or in a glass bottom boat, kayak, bike, hike and horseback ride.
Having snorkeled together at St. Thomas, friends Brendan, Traci, Marcia and I chose to horseback ride. Wayne, who once had a horse throw him and roll over on him, chose not to go on this one.
Wayne need not have worried. In this lawsuit-conscious world, Holland America took every precaution to protect its guests. It was rather like a child’s pony ride.
But it was fun. They even had steps one could walk up to mount the horse [nice for those of us with knees destroyed by marathon runs]. We were given helmets and encouraged to wear long pants to protect against the brush and a sadddle’s chafing.
Once mounted, we walked along a sandy trail past fenced pastures where horses roamed along with goats and chickens.
Returning to our start, we dismounted and changed into bathing suits or other
clothing that could get wet, life preservers and soft shoes. Meanwhile, the horses’ saddles were changed out for what was little more than a thick foam pad with no stirrups.
Thus equipped, we headed for the beach and plunged into the sea. It was an uneventful ride except for one horse that wanted to swim toward our ship. Nonetheless, I have to say it was fun. We didn’t gallop in the surf like movie stars, but we did swim with our horses — and that is not an everyday experience.
Click on photos to enlarge.
P.S. If you cruise frequently, consider buying 100 shares of stock in a parent company. Both Carnival and Royal Caribbean give generous on-board benefits to shareholders. That amounts to an exceptionally large dividend, and in recent years the shares have appreciated as well. [As the brokers say, however, past performance is no guarantee of the future.]